LOREN CHASSE

168 Lundys Lane
San Francisco, CA
94110

415-648-0496
earafoot@gmail.com

I am interested in the way people listen,  especially when I consider the  different  expectations and sensitivities listeners bring to  situations.  As an educator and sound artist, I realize how significant environment is when contextualizing a listening experience and investing it with possibilities. In my work as a teacher in the San Francisco public schools and as Director of Education for sound arts organization 23five, I have been developing curricula and teaching programs that introduce students to the means (conceptual, creative, and technological) for actively and imaginatively listening—where sound may become a material for catalyzing literary, social, scientific and artistic practices. In my work with students as well as in my art, I am interested not so much in presenting meaning as I am in various means (through listening) for alternatively constructing it.  Often too, it is enough to leave meaning alone and  relate to an experience at the level of the sentient.  In this case, I hope not so much that anything is ‘understood’, but that something imaginary is ‘touched’.

Approaches to Performance and Recording:

Performances are my  means for exploring the individual experience of the listener.  At the same time, I investigate ways in which ‘fields’ are affected as they are recorded.  I use numerous strategies for recording, playback and re-recording within the duration of the live event to evolve a sort of ‘composition’.  By engaging an entire performance space as a ‘field’, I like to demonstrate how my experience making music begins privately with a period of collecting raw material (recording on portable devices with headphones, inside the audience) where my gestures and interaction with the situations and materials of the space imply a music the audience cannot yet hear.  At the same time, my performances aim to stimulate private experiences for the audience by means of acoustically generating sounds in intimate proximity to each listener’s ear.  

I consider the sounds of natural and unnatural places, situations, and found objects a spirited material that may be transported, mutated and reintegrated under new conditions to yield hybrid apparitions of spaces, things and moments. The microphone as an extended ear composes as it moves through a space, sensitive to various thresholds and spatial phenomena that my own ear cannot always grasp, or at least, that my ear grasps differently.   My recorded work often features electronic and acoustical noises--hums, whirs, sputters and drones—that emulate sounds in nature. The combination of such objects as motors, clocks and strobe lights with materials such as stones, branches, gravel, sand and leaves creates an atmosphere of fantasy, something familiar yet unnamable, neither here nor there.

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